I visited an Anglican church for the first time on Sunday. Having grown up in a charismatic, evangelical household, it was a very different experience than what I am used to, but I thoroughly enjoyed the liturgy. There is so much beauty in traditions that we easily forego in favor of “contemporary” services. However, that’s not what I wanted to write about today, specifically. Rather, I want to share a prayer that we read as a congregation, a prayer for artists. I am not sure who originally penned it, and I copied the text directly from the communique, including punctuation, although I added a few Oxford commas because I couldn’t help myself.
Lord, remember your artists.
Have mercy upon them and remember with compassion all those who reflect the good, the ill, the strengths, and the weaknesses of life.
Remember those who raise their voices in unending song, those who pour their souls into music loud and soft.
Holy Father, remember those who put pigment to surface, carve wood, fashion clay, chisel stone, and form glass;
Those who work base metals into beautiful objects, and those who build upwards from the earth toward heaven.
Remember those who illustrate texts, manuscripts, and the Holy Scriptures–that we might see and imagine ancient truth in new ways.
Remember those who put thought onto paper by typewriter, computer, and pan;
The poets who delve and speak, the playwrights who analyze and proclaim,
Remember the dreamers-up of narrative and story, all those who work with the light and shadows of film.
Remember the actors inspired by your Spirit, dancers moving through space, and designers generating imaginative worlds of wonder.Remember those who work in fabrics, textiles, and looms–those who labor over fibers and cloth who translate feelings into color, texture, and patterns.
Remember all these artists who you have placed among us, for–are they not–dearest Jesus–the fellows of your creative inspiration?
Do they not–Lord God–bring to your people great proof of your presence and divinity?
Do they not–Creator of Heaven and Earth–bring eloquent testimony of your active beauty and grace in our midst?
Do they not–Dear Father–bring us closer to understanding our part in your redemptive work in this world?
Remember your artists–precious and mighty God–and show them mercy and compassion that they may do the same for others,
And by doing so, may uplift people everywhere in this world, both in their time and beyond.
Show them your kindness and lend them your aid, that they may cry forth your praises through the creative powers of your Spirit with which you have gifted them…
And let them–we pray–rejoice in your infinite beauty as we do here today.
Amen! Amen! Amen!